The Picton Garden in October

The Picton Garden is situated below the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire. The garden is famous for its aster collections and its beautiful small garden. In fact it holds the National Plant Collection of Michaelmas Daisies, so a visit in September and October is a real treat.

We have already visited the garden twice before, once in autmn and once in spring and it is wonderful every time we visit. This visit was in mid-October but the seasons this year had been so strange that everything in the garden is way ahead of time for a normal season, at least three weeks out of sinc. So this visit would prove to be very different to our previous autumn wander.

The reception, with its rustic wooden hut and beautiful gate are matched by the freindly welcome we received from the garden owners and managers, members of the Picton family. Immediately you realise this is not gong to be a sterile collection of Asters, but a well-designed beautifuly planted garden with winding paths among mixed borders, each with its own character. There are even a few pots of succulents near the entrance.

The first views of the borders along the paths set the quality and sensitive style of planting that we were to enjoy throughout.

 

We enjoyed some interesting cntrasting shrub and tree foliage combinations.

 

But we had to admire the way asters were used mixed with other perbaceous plants and the clever use of all the many perennials, huddled together in the borders.

    

As we neared the end of our wanderings around these beautiful autumnal garden scenes, we discovered display beds showing how different asters fitted into the different families. The nursery was our last port of call before we returned to our car for the journey home. Of course we had quite a boot full of Asters with a couple of hardy Chrysanthemums for good measure.

 

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My Garden Journal 2018 – October

Here we are in October, my 10th visit to my garden journal this year. I love October, with its special rich light and the fire and flame colours of foliage on trees, shrubs and perennial plants alike.

The first words in my October journal were, “With October came our first signs of Autumn, foliage on perennials, shrubs and trees are all colouring up – yellows, oranges and reds. Green is becoming a far less dominant colour.” I have taken lots of colourful photos to share what we can see each time we wander out into our garden.

        

On the next page my photos one of the most colourful of all autumnal shrubs, the deciduous Euonymus, and I wrote, Our deciduous Euonymus are at their best in October, foliage and berries.”

  

Over on the next double page spread and on the following page too, I continued to look at our current projects.

I wrote, Moving on with our project, creating a new border to replace our rather jaded foliage bed, we positioned the plants in pots, moved them around until they looked just right. The planting could then get underway.”

“We decided that for another autumn and winter task we would re-design our Hot Border which was looking a little jaded. This simple decision soon became far more complicated.  We ended up making the bold decision to move the new Hot Garden to a completely different part of our patch. But first we had to finish work on the new bed featured on the opposite page. Bulbs had to be planted and an access path made along the backof the border plus a couple of Liriope muscari needed planting.”

“A selection of bulbs and a few more Carex get planted.”

 

“Ian, our gardener, creates a new acess path for the back of the new border.”

 

“Two Liriope muscari now enjoy their new home.”

Moving on to the next double page spread I share the beginnings of developing the new front border to replace the original Hot Garden. I wrote,“As Ian trimmed our Lavender Hedge, I began stripping out the original Hot Border. As I dug plants up, Jude repotted any we wished to keep, if necessary splitting them up too.”

   

 

The front border soon looked empty and Ian improved the soil by double digging and and incorporating organic compost and forking it all through. It is now easily workable and feels a perfect texture.

On the opposite page to our front border adventures I shared some of my paintings of October seedheads, created using graphite pencil and Japanese water colour brush pens.

I wrote, “When the sun shines bright on a dry October day, its rays catch each delicate seedhead atop the fine stems of perennials. The slightest breeze invite these lightweight beige, bronze, ginger and coffee seedheads to dance.”

The final double page spread brings colour back as we look at what is in flower during the last few days of the month. I wrote, “In contrast to the subtle colours of dried grasses and seed heads our late flowering climbers, shrubs and perennials are so bright!”

    

“Sharp contrasts give the garden added depth as the autumn sum dips lower in the sky.”

 

So we see the end of October with reasonable temperatures holding up and plenty of dry days to get out into the garden and get busy.

 

 

 

 

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Are you sitting comfortably? Part 16 in a very occasional series.

It seems a while since I shared a post with you in this very occasional series about garden seating, so Ithought I would check back over this autumn and summer garden visits to see what we discovered on our various garden visits. I hope you enjoy this widely varied selection from very varied locations.

The first pair of seats is from a visit to a woodland garden in Powys with the wonderfully strange name of Gregynog.

The first seat is created from the remains of an old massive fallen tree, whereas the second is a quite common garden bench but with an exceptional view out over a lake.

 

We then move to Herefordshire to the amazing Picton Gardens, home of Asters, where seats are welcome as there is so much to see and appreciate you need time to sit and take it all in.

In our home county of Shropshire a young couple have created a garden and nursery in an old walled garden attached to Milllichope Hall. This is a garden with so many unusual herbaceous plants as well as more well known ones all mingling with ornamental grasses. It is an exciting new garden which looks set to get better and better. Just look at this matching pair of simple wooden benches.

On a much larger scale are the gardens at Ness Botanical Gardens up in the Wirral near Liverpool, a great wandering garden that needs a full day to appreciate all it has to offer.

Way down in Somerset is a Piet Oudolf garden designed to soften the area around farm buildings now converted into gallery spaces. These simple metal chairs in the enclosed courtyard fit so well.

Still in the South West of England we next visit the RHS garden at Rosemore, a garden with many different areas of changing character.

 

I shall finish off this selection with a visit to The Japanese Garden down in Cornwall.

It feels to good to finish this seat selection with some unusual seats set in an unusual garden. Next time we visit this occasional post it will be number 17.

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Hauser and Wirth – a return to Piet Oudolf’s gallery garden

We have visited the Piet Oudolf gardens at the Hauser and Wirth Galleries in Bruton, Somerset twice already. We wanted to visit once more to see how these amazing new perennial style gardens had matured.

We had to pass between the gallery buildings to reach the gardens but were drawn to these gently planted containers and gardens in the courtyards.

 

A sculpture piece by Richard Long graced one area of grass, but after a quick look and photo, we hurried through the gallery buildings and out into the main gardens. We were to find another Richard Long piece at the far end of the main garden, one of his circular works.

 

To give a true picture of the gardens here at the gallery I need to share a gallery with you showing views across board, plant compinations and a few individual plants too. Enjoy by clicking on the right arrow and navigate as usual using the arrows.

 

Posted in autumn, autumn colours, garden design, garden designers, garden photography, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, grasses, hardy perennials, Land Art, light, light quality, meadows, ornamental grasses, outdoor sculpture, Piet Oudolf, sculpture | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Dingle Garden in October

October to my mind is the first month of the Autumn, whatever the metereological office says about September taking that role. We shall see what aspects of this new season we  found and experienced when we took our October wander around the sloping woodland gardens of The Dingle near Welshpool.

The light was beautiful as we started  to wander around the garden and it was the sort of light that lit up the colours of the foliage, emphasising that autumn had certainly arrived.

 

It certainly wasn’t just autumn foliage that was there to fascinate us, flowering perennials and shrubs were performing well too.

 

Several members of the Eunymus family both deciduous and evergreen grow happily in the woodland garden. They display such unusual berries usually orange with pink highlights.

  

The leaves of this fern reflected the shape of the Rhus foliage, a special variety with lovely cut leaves, Rhus typhina lancianata.

 

Fallen foliage beneath our feet looked like a Persian rug of many colours.

Autumn is also the season for fungi!

So there we have our look at The Dingle gardens for October, a colourful time of the year. Next month perhaps many leaves will be down leaving trees as skeletons.

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Return to Wildgoose Nurseries and Garden

We returned in early October to a nearby garden and nursery set in a walled garden, Wildgoose Nursery and Garden run by Jack and Laura Wildgoose. This young couple took over the running and renovation of the walled garden in 2011 and we are amazed at each visit to see how far they have come.

The garden looks especially good in late summer and into the autumn, displaying many ornamental grasses and late-flowering hardy perennials. The light was goodon our last visit so the garden looked extra special.

 

As the above photos show the garden is situated in a sloping walled garden and along one wall is a very unusual curved glasshouse which has been beautifully restored and visitors can go inside to appreciate its special beauty.

 

The garden itself is based on brilliant planting using new perennial style material with meandering gravel paths throughout giving close views of most of the plants. Long vistas allowed us to appreciate the way shapes, structures and colours of the plants are so well thought out. Jack and Laura, the owners, have such a good eye for special plants plus the ability to arrange them beautifully. I thought that a gallery of my photos would give the clearest impression of this very special garden. It is difficult to imagine that the couple only took on the restoration of the walled garden and the creation of the new garden and nursery in 2011. Such determination and strength of character!

 

 

 

Posted in autumn, autumn colours, garden buildings, garden design, garden paths, garden photography, garden seat, garden seating, garden wildlife, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, grasses, hardy perennials | 1 Comment

Sorbus at Ness Botanic Gardens

As mentioned in my post about Ness Botanic Gardens themselves we were using the visit to study their many different Sorbus trees, to help us choose one for our garden. Here is a selection of those we found and liked. At the end of the post we shall share with you our shortlist drawn up during our visit.

The first cultivar which featured strongly in the carpark planting and around the garden was unusurpisingly Sorbus “Ness Pink”, a beautiful fastigiate structured tree with blue foliage and pale pink flowers. A stunning selection which immediately went onto our short list.

Next up was another neat tree with finely cut foliage and crisp yellow-orange berries, which was not labelled but later we found another that we thought was the same – Sorbus “Wisley Gold”. Another for the list!

Next ones we found in the pinetum were these deep pinkish berried trees, the one on the left is S. “Leonard Messell” and the other S.”Eastern Promise”.

We carried on in the woodland alongside the pinetum to find S. “Jospeph Rock” and S. coxii. We already have Joseph Rock growing at home and is a real favourite but we were not aware of coxii. It had the most beautiful glaucous foliage, but researching it is hard work as no-one seems to know much about it.

The pair that I photographed next were on the left S. discolor and on the right S. “Autumn Spire” which we already grow in our Avocet patch. Is a narrow upright tree with bright orang fruit looking fiery with red autumn colour.

Below are the next two Sorbus we came across and liked enough to photograph were sadly unlabelled. No help to us in seeking a selection for our garden. Good looking trees too!

We then were disappointed to find this pale yellow almost lemon berried tree had no label either. The one on the right is S. “Carmesina” a deep pink fruiting tree with pale glaucous foliage.

 

Two pink berried cultivars are featured next, the first with the palest pink possible, S.bulleyana, the second S. discolores with a deep blush to their pale pink.

 

At the end of the pinetum we came across a perfectly shaped rowan dripping with orange-yellow berries, Sorbus aucuparia “Dickeana”, a special specimen indeed.

We were delighted to discover on a grassed area on our return route to the centre among Betulas, a few more beautiful Sorbus, the red-leaved S. “Dodong Olympic Flame” and the more gentle S. Chinese Lace.

And to finish off a return to the magnificent Sorbus “Pink Ness”.

So what were the varieties that made it onto our short list? Here as promised is our selection from which we must seek out and purchase just one.

You may have guessed that Pink Ness is there, plus Chinese Lace,  Dodong Olympic Flame and Wisley Gold. Great selection – hope you agree.

 

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